Russian Salad (Olivye Salad)

A scrumptious cold salad perfect for your New Year's Eve celebrations!

Prep time: about 1 hour

Cooking time: about 30 minutes

Inactive time: 2 to 12 hours

Serves 6 to 10 people

Gluten/Soy/Dairy Free and Ovo-vegetarian

One of my childhood favorites! This delicious cold salad is made with vegetables, eggs, condiments, and herbs. Its simple everyday ingredients create complex layers of flavors and textures. It’s delicious and refreshing. For some it is known as Olivye Salad. Others know it as Olivier Salad. But to the majority it is known by its nickname: Russian Salad. No matter what it is called, one thing everyone can agree about is that this salad is absolutely scrumptious!

Traditionally served on both Christmas and New Year‘s Eve dinners at our home, this salad is the perfect side dish for your special celebrations.

Ingredients for this salad vary from country to country as well as from kitchen to kitchen. This recipe was inspired by my mom's recipe. At my childhood home, there were two very distinctive versions of this cold salad: with or without beetroot. This particular version is without beetroot and, as always, I added my own twist to it with an extra unexpected ingredient: turnips.

What is Olivye Salad:

Olivye salad is a traditional salad dish in Russian cuisine, which is also popular in other post-Soviet countries, many European countries, Iran, Israel, Mongolia and also throughout Latin America. In different modern recipes, it is usually made with diced boiled potatoes, carrots, brined dill pickles (or cucumber), green peas, eggs, celeriac, onions, diced boiled chicken or bologna sausage (sometimes ham or hot dogs), and tart apples, with salt, pepper, and mustard added to enhance flavor, dressed with mayonnaise. In many countries, the dish is commonly referred to as Russian salad. A variation called Stolichny salad (Russian: салат "Столичный", "capital city salad") exists, and is also popular in the Russian cuisine.

In Russia and other post-Soviet states, as well as in Russophone communities worldwide, the salad has become one of the main dishes on zakuski tables served during New Year's Eve ("Novy God") celebrations.

What is the flavor profile?

Savory with sweet notes, creamy, complex.

What ingredients will I need to make this?

Potatoes, eggs, carrots, a turnip, a red onion, celery, peas, dill, mayonnaise, lemons, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Distilled white vinegar will be needed to boil the eggs and facilitate the removal of the shell.

What else will I need to make this salad?

A cutting board, a knife, a vegetable peeler, a couple of pots to cook the vegetables and eggs in, measuring cups and spoons, a large mixing bowl, and a wooden spoon or spatula.

Can I make substitutions and additions?

Yes. You can substitute the russet potatoes for whatever potatoes are available in your area. Also, if you want a milder flavor, substitute the red onion with a sweet onion.

You can add beetroot, pickled beetroot, dill pickles, cucumber, apples, sultanas, dried fruit, etc. As I said, different countries have different ingredients for this salad. Find the things you like and make it your own.

What are some good tips to make this salad?

  • You can cook all ingredients in advance. I normally do it the night before and let them rest overnight in the fridge.

  • Once the vegetables are removed from the heat, shock them by placing them in cold water. That stops the cooking process and will keep the vegetables' texture from becoming mushy.

  • Allowing the prepared salad to rest for at least a couple of hours will develop and enhance the complex flavors within.


  • 3 pounds of russet potatoes, boiled and peeled

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled

  • 2 carrots, boiled and peeled

  • 1 large turnip, boiled and peeled

  • 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped

  • 3 celery sticks, chopped chopped

  • 1/4 cup of cooked peas, cooled

  • fresh dill to taste

  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise

  • 2 lemons

  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar

  • Sea salt

  • Black pepper

  • water and ice


  1. Wash the potatoes, carrots, and turnip.

  2. Start by adding cold water, 2 tablespoons of salt, and the potatoes to a large pot. Cook until the potatoes are al dente (about 15 to 20 minutes depending of the size). Do not overcook the potatoes. You want them to be cooked all the way through without becoming mushy yet have a bit to them. Remove the potatoes from heat and immediately place them in icy cold water to shock them. Once the potatoes have cooled, peel and keep them refrigerated until needed.

  3. Simultaneously add cold water, 1 teaspoon of salt, the turnip and carrots to a smaller pot. Cook for 12 minutes and remove the carrots. Shock the carrots in icy cold water. Cook the turnip for another 8 minutes, remove from heat and shock in icy cold water. Once the both have cooled down, peel and place in the refrigerator to keep cold.

  4. Add cold water, the eggs, and the white vinegar to a small pot. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover with a lid, and leave the eggs in the hot water for 13 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, remove the eggs from the hot water and place them in icy cold water. Peel them once they have completely cooled down. Place them in the refrigerator with the other ingredients.

  5. Once you have all the ingredients ready, it is time to put everything together.

  6. Cut the potatoes, turnip, carrots and eggs into small bite size pieces. Add to the bowl. Chop the celery and onion and add them to the bowl. Add the peas, mayonnaise, the juice of two lemons, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and chopped dill. Gently incorporate everything with a wooden spoon or spatula and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

  7. Cover and let it rest refrigerated anywhere from 2 to 12 hours. Once you are ready to serve, transfer to a serving dish and top with fresh dill.


Printable recipe (pdf) below:

Russian Salad (Olivye Salad)
PDF • 12.66MB

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